Grown Ups (2010)

Rated PG-13. Our Ratings: V-1; L-4; S-1/N-5. Length: 1 hour 42 min.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I
thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;
when I became an adult, I put an end to
childish ways
1 Corinthians 13:11

The five old friends gather at the lakeside cabin where they had celebrated a sports victory 40 years earlier.

2010 Columbia Pictures

Adam Sandler stars in and co-wrote this mish-mash of a supposed adult comedy. Contrary to the title, much of the humor is puerile level—yes, plenty of fart jokes, at least one involving an over-bearing black mother passing on the blame to a large dog. Judging by the audience’s laughter at the advanced screening, plenty of people will enjoy this escapist farce about 5 boyhood friends coming together for the funeral of their long-ago coach. Best part of the movie is the conclusion of a basketball game in which Sandler’s hitherto self-centered character does some quick growing up.

Sandler plays hotshot Hollywood agent Lenny Feder, married to fashion designer Roxanne Chase-Feder. They have two sons who would rather play video games than enjoy the beautiful lake they come to. Lenny’s four friends, Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock), Marcus (David Spade), and Rob (Rob Schneider), have joined him at the palatial lake cabin in New England where their coach had spoken at the supper celebrating their championship victory 40 years ago. Now he is dead, and the four have gathered, a little to mourn, but more to play catch up on their lives and show off their success. In town they meet the members of the team that they had beaten. These guys are still burning over their loss because they say that the referees missed seeing that Lenny’s foot was on the line when he made the winning basket.

The humor, much of it sexist, becomes a little more forced as the plot develops, with far more of the wife still breast feeding her four year old than I cared to see, and the guys’ idea that one has to get plastered to have a good time. Although this is a guy’s film, women might enjoy it because it shows what jerks or creeps guys can be.

For reflection/Discussion 1. What is Lenny like at the beginning of the film? How does he change as the story progresses? Who else goes through the most change?

2. What are they tempted to do when they come together after not seeing each other fro such a long time? Have you seen this at reunions—or perhaps engaged in a bit of exaggeration yourself concerning your achievements?

3. What do you think of Lenny’s decision when he makes the last shot? How is this a sign that he has followed up on 1 Cor. 13:11? Earlier, how does Roxanne also show this in a decision she makes concerning leaving early for Milan?

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